Sask. throne speech sets out new ag growth plan

The government says exports will be a key pillar of the plan, and a strong agricultural sector is key. | File photo

The Saskatchewan government will release a new growth plan that includes revised agricultural targets.

The speech from the throne, delivered by Lt.-Gov. Russ Mirasty this afternoon, sets the tone for the final legislative session before the next provincial election.

It says the 2020s will be a decade of growth, and the growth plan will set out how Saskatchewan will achieve a population of 1.4 million and 100,000 more jobs by 2030.

The government says exports will be a key pillar of the plan, and a strong agricultural sector is key.

“Increasing crop production and growing the percentage of primary agricultural production that is processed in our province will be part of our plan moving forward,” said the speech. “Growth in the value of exports requires more value-added production. To ensure our province reaps the full benefit of our agricultural resources, my government will outline measures to increase agricultural value-added exports to $10 billion by 2030.”

The province’s first growth plan was released in 2012 and included the goals of increasing crop production by 10 million tonnes and increasing agricultural exports from $10 billion to $15 billion, both by 2020.

Crop production has gone from 26.4 million tonnes in 2012 to 35.5 million tonnes in 2018.

Agricultural exports were $13.4 billion in 2018.

Other speech highlights include that SaskPower will continue to explore small modular reactors using uranium to produce emissions-free electricity and that it will create a fund of up to $10 million to help the Coronach and Estevan areas transition from coal-fired electricity by 2030, which is a federal decision.

The government plans to introduce about 30 bills in the session, including a new Fisheries Act to offer greater protection against invasive aquatic species, and legislation to regulate vaping and vaping products.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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